By Pastor Michael Maikarfi
Why are we here? I mean, why is our country where it is now?
In my own view, four major factors are responsible for this sorry state of our nation. Startled by the current situation staring us at the face, many pundits have tried to examine the state of the nation from various angles and to proffer solutions.
We all know how we have most often than not being engaged on discussions over national affairs in various fora. Yet, it is clear our nation is daily drifting far away from our desired destination.
I was making a trip to a town where one of the ancient railway stations was located in North-Western Nigeria. The day was cool and cloudy as I navigated my way on the tarred road with thick forest on both sites enveloping the whole atmosphere into a serene and calm climate for meditation. This happened to be the day that Mr. President flagged off the Abuja – Kaduna modern railway line service.
As I meditated along that trip, then it got dawned on me that these four factors have been key forces that have dragged our nation to where it is now. These are the things I set out to discuss here. And they all revolve around President Muhammadu Buhari and his style of leadership.
The first is the campaign on the war against corruption, not the war itself. Immediately after the swearing in ceremony at the Eagle square Abuja on 29 May, 2015, Mr. President declared a war against corruption which he set out to fight.
Corruption is a social and economic cancer that has the potency to destroy and ruin nations. It is a monster that should be detested and fought with every muscle a leader could muster. However, the fight needs to be total, tactful and systematic.
Unfortunately, the style of President Buhari’s war against corruption which has now affected the nation adversely has been his international publicity of his anti-corruption war as her traversed transnational boarders which have only succeeded in portraying Nigeria and Nigerians as the most corrupt nation and people of the world. Mr. President has ended up sending such awry signal across the globe and now only the stench of Nigeria is felt everywhere. With this, which multi-national corporation would like to come invest in a nation that is infested with high profile corruption like Nigeria? This is why we are here now in the world of business and investment.
The second factor has been Mr. President’s utterances and body Language. When he mounted the saddle of leadership as a president, he immediately declared that, “I am for everybody and I am for nobody”. But no sooner than later, he reneged on this statement by stating that, he will give 97/5% preference and treatment to regions according to the way he was voted.
Many pundits have adjudged the above utterance as unsavoury, undemocratic and a prime factor that has triggered the militancy that erupted in the Niger Delta.
As a matter of fact, the Igbo council of elders, Ohanieze at a time viewed such statement from Mr. President and other utterances he made as a Military general who is still fighting a Nigeria – Biafra war. His body language as a leader and looking at the type of people he chooses and brings around him also betrayed him. With this, we now have a serious situation at the Niger Delta that has drastically reduced our crude oil production capacity as a nation.
Thirdly, is the case of exclusive & sectional governance which is closely linked to the 97/5% selective treatment. Mr. President’s mode of appointments have attracted outcry from regions and ethnic groups across the nation. It is no news that primordial sentiments bordering on ethnicity and religion have been, among other factors, the president’s guide to his appointments. And with all these outcries the trend has continued. Federal character has been thrown to the wind and Nigeria is been governed like a monarchy or an enclave for a selective few.
The delay in appointing ministers in this administration was another factor that has dragged our economy to its present sorry state. The time that the campaigns were on to the time the presidential election was held and won; and down to when Mr. President was sworn in was enough time to have assembled those who should be part of his cabinet. This would have set the ball rolling well for the good of the nation if capable hands were engaged earlier to craft a financial blueprint for our nation. Unfortunately, it took us six months to have our ministers in place who, up till now, don’t seem to know where our nation is headed economically. All these have been factors that have dragged us to where we are now as a nation.
In summary therefore, Mr. President has over time been engaged in a negative publicity of fighting corruption on one hand, while on the other hand frustrating our economy by faulty economic decisions and inactions as he stands on an elevated platform of polarized government that is fueling the disintegration of the nation through nepotism and exclusive governance where some sections are to a very great extent, estranged from the affairs of the state.
For us to make any meaningful progress towards development as a nation at this time therefore, the ruling class must take a look at the factors enumerated herein and take drastic steps to urgently address them.